Concert tours by Elton, the Rolling Stones and Barbra Streisand were among the top-grossing tours in North America in 2006, helping drive ticket revenue to a record $3.6 billion, according to figures released yesterday by Pollstar.
The figures represent a 16 percent increase over 2005, when North American concert ticket sales totaled $3.1 billion, said Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of the industry trade magazine.
Concert receipts for the top 100 tours of the year totaled $2.33 billion, up 12.6 percent from last year.
Not only did we set a record for gross revenues, but we did it by selling more tickets rather than more expensive tickets, Bongiovanni said.
His publication estimated that fans purchased 37.9 million tickets to the top 100 concert tours, compared with 36.3 million in 2005.
The average ticket price paid to attend a show on those tours was $61.45, up 8 percent over last years average of $56.88.
The average ticket price increase, which amounts to $4.57, was similar to the increase seen between 2004 and 2005.
Thats a good sign for the business, observed Bongiovanni.
Not all the tours that pulled in hefty gross ticket sales were put on by individual touring artists. For example, the American Idols Live tour pulled in $35 million.
Among the other acts that ended the year in the top 25 by sales receipts were Coldplay, The Who, the Dave Matthews Band, Shakira and Bon Jovi.
Below are the top ten concert tours of 2006 in North America, by gross ticket receipts. All figures in millions of dollars:
Rolling Stones $138.5
Barbra Streisand $92.5
Tim McGraw/Faith Hill $88.8
Cirque Du Soleil – Delirium $82.1
Celine Dion $78.1
Kenny Chesney $66.0
Bon Jovi $59.7
Dave Matthews Band $51.3